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One killed, 50 injured in curfew-bound Kashmir
Published on 25 Aug. 2008 1:13 AM IST
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One person was killed and nearly 50 were injured as mobs defied curfew and fought pitched battles with security forces in parts of a tense Kashmir Valley Sunday. Curfew was imposed in cities and towns of the valley early Sunday in an attempt to foil a planned march to Srinagar Monday by separatists, but large crowds took to the streets brazenly defying the authorities. Clashes took place in Srinagar, the tense summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, and in the towns of Handwara, Baramulla and Beerwah of the valley. A man was killed and his son critically wounded in a firing allegedly by a security force squad in Srinagar. Sources told IANS that Gulam Qadir Hakim and his son Muhammad Yaqoob moved out of their Buchwara home, two km from city centre Lal Chowk, for buying foodstuffs during the curfew restrictions. "They had gone to buy milk in the evening when they were fired upon by the security forces without any warning," residents of the area told IANS by phone. While the father succumbed to injuries after he was taken to a hospital, Yaqoob was reported to be in a critical condition. A spokesman of the police, however, said the father-son duo were part of a curfew- defying mob that indulged in violence against the security forces. Violence also erupted at Beerwah, 45 km from here, where 25 people were injured, and in Baramulla, 54 km from here. In both places, young men took on the police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). In Handwara, six people suffered bullet wounds but it was not clear who had fired. In Baramulla's old parts, seven protesters were hit by rubber bullets when security forces opened fire to disperse a large gathering that attacked them with stones and other missiles. The strength of the crowds was put at hundreds in most places. "The security forces used batons and tear smoke to disperse the protesters who kept on regrouping in hundreds," a police officer told IANS. "At least 15 people, including some security men, were wounded in Handwara." Curfew was imposed throughout the valley by the authorities Sunday morning in order to foil Monday's separatist march to Lal Chowk. Meanwhile, the district administration in Srinagar banned current affairs programmes on local TV channels, blaming them for airing inflammatory news and viewpoints.

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